Here is a Christian Perspective, titled “Trump’s Budget: ‘Compassion for Taxpayers.’”
. . . Referring to Trump’s cuts to the federal food stamp program, Rep. Harold Rogers, a Republicans from Kentucky said, “These cuts that are being proposed are draconian. They’re not mere shavings, they’re deep, deep cuts.”
Mulvaney says he’s received lots of questions about “compassion”. He says, “Compassion needs to be on both sides of that equation. Yes, you have to have compassion for folks who are receiving the federal funds, but also you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it.” . . .
Right? Think of it from the billionaires’ point of view. Yes, it transfers $900 billion over a decade from those in need to the affluent few, but what a burden that lifts from their overtaxed shoulders! How it will uplift their souls! Isn’t this what Trump was elected to do?
Jim Burt: “The estimable Nancy LeTourneau at the Washington Monthly writes: ‘The tax cuts for the uber wealthy are breathtaking. The top 1% will get a $250,000 tax cut per year. But the 400 richest Americans who make over $300 million per year will each get a tax cut of at least $15 million annually.’
“Supposedly, this bounty — little more than a rounding error when considering an annual income of $300 million and up — will encourage the plutocratic class to increase investment so much that increased economic growth will generate several times its weight in increased tax revenue . . . enough to pay for the tax cuts and eliminate the deficit.
“This fantasy is based on the so-called ‘Laffer curve,’ brain child of economist Arthur Laffer, who drew a graph on a napkin (without benefit of actual study, research, or mathematics) showing tax revenue from increased economic growth outstripping revenue loss from tax cuts, thus ‘justifying’ the Reagan and Bush tax cuts responsible, along with other short-sighted policies, for about 2/3 of the existing National Debt.
“The sole historical example of this approach ever working is found in the Kennedy Round of tax cuts, which reduced the maximum marginal rate on income from 90% to 70%. The effective top marginal rate, because of loopholes and various tax avoidance shenanigans, was well short of 90%; but theoretically, at least, cutting the maximum rate from 90% to 70% trebled the net that a very wealthy investor could expect to obtain from investment. This was enough to lure substantial sums from unproductive tax-dodges into productive investment, especially in plant and equipment for which the Kennedy Round also provided an accelerated-depreciation benefit, and tax revenue did increase in the aftermath of this rate cut. Reagan’s first cut in the top rate — from 70% to 50% — had negligible effect on productive investment. Subsequent tax cuts have fiddled at the margins, reducing revenues and ballooning debt with no noticeable effect on economic growth.
“The Trump budget doesn’t even pretend that the ‘take’ of the very wealthy will be enticingly large compared to the riches already flowing their way (what’s an extra $15 million on top of $300 million?), so it stretches credulity to suppose that the Koch brothers are going to be induced to open up previously buried coffee cans full of new investment. It will, however, give them enough additional money to buy some more legislators and elections.”
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I do count my blessings, but then I end up counting those of others who have more and better blessings, and that pisses me off.~Bob Mankoff New Yorker cartoon caption
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